Surgery, especially brain surgery, has always left me feeling extreme depression afterwards. It’s not something I can pinpoint (when trying to find a reason for the way I’m feeling) or even recognise when it hits me at first. I’ve often wondered if the anaesthetic has something to do with it…
In my mind, I’ve only ever (consciously) faced brain surgery twice where, after the last operation, waking up in ICU and learning that my 2nd operation had since admission, turned into brain operation 3 & 4. Something I am very mindful of and, which has taught me that one just never knows what will happen and shouldn’t take anything for granted.
I woke up very confused, no immediate (or a long while after) recollection of where I was and why. I was overwhelmed by a feeling of fear and loneliness…and…an overwhelming feeling of depression. My hospital notes list various times where entries were made by the nurses saying I appear to be depressed…(These, by the way, are times where I was slipping in and out of consciousness – I have no memory of it).
Thankfully, that’s 8 years ago…
You don’t go into that operating room to lose anything but you do. One thing for sure is something you either get back in time or simply have to write off along the way.
Some, you almost feel no loss for because it’s literally as if it never happened. How can you miss something you never knew was there? Others around you may realise it and I hope they keep it to themselves because there’s nothing worse than trying to force a memory. Having someone tell you about something of which you have no recollection, is not the best feeling. As someone who has had this happen personally, I still have days where I force the issue with my brain. An internal dialogue/tug of war that leaves me feeling so helpless and, despite being the owner/driver of this body, I soon realise I’m not in control.
I suppose the specific memories we lose is not exactly up to us, which doesn’t help the situation. (I would love this option though, just to wipe out all the crap I’ve endured in my lifetime…). The fact that it can and does happen is something that probably comes with the roll of the dice. (Or the literal slice, in this case).
EDIT: Just last week, a Hydro sister (Janay Harris), shared with me that after her most recent surgery (she’s had 190 brain surgeries!), she has trouble remembering anything about her Mom. This saddens me…and, I guess it drives it home to me just how serious it can get. I can’t imagine having any of my family members erased or even left in a transparent state within the crevices of my mind. I pray the memory of her mother returns, if only for her own sake.
As with most things in life, if you’re going to let it get to you, it will drag you down to a place you’d be best to steer clear from. Life can sometimes feel like a concentration camp where you are broken down to conform, forcefully accepting that which you don’t want to. Some things you can’t change and have no other choice but to accept it.
If your memories return, then that’s awesome. If it doesn’t, well…there’s not much you can do about it. Take your time to mourn the loss thereof (if you need to) but, most of all – Be patient with yourself.